It goes without saying that the desire for a holiday remains, and if anything it has surged. Whilst holidays abroad may still be grounded for now, with the government’s most recent relaxations of the lockdown rules as per the Covid19 roadmap, you can still explore and indulge in a relaxing or adventure filled getaway without setting foot in a plane.
Here at In The Country, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to staycations which can be enjoyed all year round, and not just in the Spring and Summer months. Simply, pack your bags, hop in the car and head off for a long-weekend down to the coast or venture deep into the Yorkshire Dales.
We are headed to Wales for some exciting filming at the end of the month, so with the prospect of travel in mind (though note, holidaying in Wales is not yet permitted, on travel for essential reasons such as work or to provide essential care etc is allowed from England currently), our minds here at ITC have drifted to the thought of staycations!
The United Kingdom is home to some of the world’s most beautiful locations, and often we don’t appreciate what we have around us. With the future of holidays abroad for 2021 looking uncertain still, a week long road trip through the picturesque Lake District or around Scotland’s Route 66, the NC500 which has been dubbed even more beautiful than New Zealand is the ultimate alternative. Check out our own experience of Scotland’s North Coast 500 here.
In The Country’s guide to staycations:
Starting with In The Country’s very own stomping ground of West Sussex, Hollie-Ella has handpicked two of her favourite staycation spots;
Little Bear is a luxurious, architect-designed, open-plan wooden cabin hideaway nestled on acres upon acres of fairytale woodland and surrounding wildflower meadow near Billingshurst, West Sussex. Complete with its own eco hot tub, forget those modern distractions like WiFi and TV, here you can reconnect with nature, escape for a detox or perhaps even a romantic weekend away in your very own self-catering haven hidden from the world around you. Sleeping up to two guests, from £1,150 per week or £895 per short-break. Book via Unique Homestays. Images supplied by Unique Homestays.
Next, we have Brontë the converted railway carriage, just a stones throw from the popular Witterings beach. Brontë is a 1879 London & Brighton South Coast Railway Carriage which has been lovingly restored by young couple. Danny and Faye. An idyllic coastal getaway with a difference. Danny and Faye have shared the restoration journey of Brontë on their Instagram page @bronte_therailwaycarriage, making a stay here just that little bit more special, knowing the passionate, hard work and determination that has gone into creating such a serene and peaceful place to stay. You can book a stay via AirBnB.
Moving on now to the New Forest and of course, Chewton Glen is a name many will have heard of, but what you may not have discovered is the magical treehouses that are available to guests. You can escape in confidence here, perfect for a family stay-cation. Chewton Glen offers various activities for families during the day, you also have the charming New Forest on your doorstep. With forest views from the tree canopy, the treehouses are suspended 35-feet above the ground, complete with your own outdoor hot tub on your private terrace decking. Chewton Glen also offers scrumptious afternoon teas and delicious food, check out the meal we were kindly treated to back in 2019: The most delicious autumnal lunch at Chewton Glen...
Dorset next, and this retreat is high-up on Hollie-Ella’s list – Loose Reins. Described as ‘luxury glamping with a frontier charm’, Loose Reins is yet another ideal location for a family holiday but, in the same breath also lends itself effortlessly well as a romantic, rural couple’s retreat. Surrounded by picturesque Dorset countryside, complete with ponies, Loose Reins is the perfect place to switch off, slow down and relax.
Dimpsey Glamping, nestled on Emma and Andrew’s farm in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset is perhaps the epitome of shepherd’s hut glamping. Perfectly located for walking on the Blackdown Hills and with Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast just 30 minutes drive away, Dimpsey is the ideal choice for those wanting to explore the historic coast and surrounding areas, but similarly is the most enchanting sanctuary for those simply wanting to hideaway and recharge. With no WiFi, wood-fired cooking, a slow boiling whistling kettle, private garden and your very own wood-fired hot tub, Dimpsey’s huts; Hither and Yonder are designed for you to ‘just be.’
Ever dreamt of sleeping under the glittering starlit sky? Well, in Cornwall you can do just that. The Nessa Ekopod, hidden in the remote folds of the Cornish hills, offers a view like no other from the geodome bedroom. Family and pet friendly, Nessa is the perfect base for your next stay-cation, with the wilds of Bodmin Moor on your doorstep, famous landmarks like The Eden Project or The Lost Gardens of Heligan. With your very own BBQ on your private decking to a fire-pit below inspiring slow evenings of stargazing, in addition to a more traditional kitchen set-up and double bathtub in a separate timber building offering some welcome home comforts. Available to book through Canopy & Stars. Image credit: Owen Howell.
Moving onto Wales now, with views akin to New Zealand, Hollie-Ella confesses to have fallen in love with the landscape during her brief visit earlier this Summer. Hidden on the northern border of the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is a remarkable haven; Hinterland. A luxury self-catering log cabin listed on Unique Homestays (along with Little Bear), overlooking the dramatic Conwy Valley and surrounded by soaring mountains. The most perfect place to unwind after a day of hiking, trekking or just generally exploring the National Park, equally if you’re looking for a rural, remote escape, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere more idyllic. Images supplied by UHS.
In Devon, we fell in love with two locations, for very different reasons. First up; The Pig at Combe, an Elizabethan gem
nestled in the Otter Valley just outside of Honiton. You can rest assured that your stay here will be a five-star experience, with rooms combining luxury and homely charm, The Pig at Combe is one of seven Pigs located around the country. Just 15 minutes from the coast, this is a get-away with a difference, with an award-winning menu consisting of local fresh fish, homegrown herbs, vegetables and infusions in addition to locally sourced meat and some of the finest Devonshire cheese. We were lucky enough to be invited to experience a stay and to soak up the famous ‘Pig’ hospitality, you can read about what we thought of our experience here.
Casting your eyes on The Beach Hut in South Devon, you’ll quickly understand why we were so torn between the two, and just had to tell you about this ultimate romantic spot. The Beach Hut is set in the most breathtaking location, off-grid and on your own private beach with sea views, sounds and smells. Sleeping two, this is the ideal romantic retreat, with your own outdoor hot tub, a wood-burner and gas hob – there is no electricity, the lights are solar powered, no WIFI and only accessible by foot. Not suitable for pets or children. Prices from £400 per night. Available to book via Coolstays.
In Scotland now for the final leg of our staycations guide, and another location that we have been totally blown away by – Croft 103 by Mackays. In a completely private, remote location on the shores of Loch Eriboll near Durness in North West Sutherland, Scotland, you’ll find this luxury self-catering unique cottage. Together, Fiona and Robbie Mackay have created the most incredible place to escape from the hustle and bustle. Labours of love, these building have been designed to be low-impact, contemporary and unforgettable, complimenting the landscape.
Well, that wraps up our guide to staycations across the UK, of course there are tonnes of unique and incredible locations we’ve missed but that just gives us an excuse for more adventures right?
Until next time…
Stay safe, lots of love,